When it gets to be this time of year, with the Humboldt Emergency Services Charity Event just around the corner (February 4, in case you were wondering. Get your ticket soon, if you are planning on coming), I start to think of our local emergency services, and what special people they are.
I know I’ve written about this before. But I think it’s something that bears repeating, because these people don’t stop after they’ve fought one fire, or treated one victim, or made an important arrest. They keep going, doing things time and again, hour after hour, day after day, to help the rest of us.
They repeat, and so will I.
In my line of work, especially in a smaller centre, you get to know those who run the fire trucks, the ambulances and the police cruisers. In my career, I’ve spent time with them on the job and off, during emergencies, and during practice sessions. I’ve gotten to know them as people, and not just uniforms.
And they’re pretty much the best kind of people I’ve ever met — the naturally helpful kind.
These are the people you want around you when you’re in a crisis. They are educated, professional, and have big, huge hearts — yes, even the cops.
Police officers can often feel isolated from the communities they serve. When you think about it, they deal with the seedy underbelly of our communities 90 per cent of the time they’re at work, the side that some of us never see at all. They deal with a lot of stuff we don’t know about so that we don’t have to know about it. They are our clean-up crew. It’s because of them that our communities stay safe. And while many can see them as the bad guys because they enforce the rules society has set, just think of where we would be without them. It takes a very, very special kind of person, with a huge amount of confidence in themselves, and a good head on their shoulders to be a good policeman or policewoman. And we’ve got some of the best right here in Humboldt.
Now, let’s turn our attention to the ambulance crews — those in Humboldt and the surrounding area. These people are compassion embodied. And they’re strong — physically, mentally and emotionally. They have to be strong in order to do their job, to deal calmly, efficiently and compassionately with people experiencing some of the worst moments of their lives. Away from work, some of them are also the funniest and most fun-loving people I’ve ever met. I think that’s because what they do every day reminds them that anything can happen at any moment to change your life, and that each day is precious. It’s something we all need reminding of, every once in a while.
Finally, let’s discuss our local firefighters for a moment. These, again, are special people, and they share common traits, wherever they live. Most firefighters in this area are volunteers, which means they are willing to rush into danger to save others, even though it’s not their full-time job. That takes not only courage, but an “others first” mentality, and a desire to work for the greater good that is not common these days. These men and women are the musketeers — all for one and one for all — though there are far more than three of them, and the “all” refers not only to other firefighters, but to the rest of us, too. They are, in all honesty, the most giving individuals in any community. Just say you need help, and a firefighter will help you move, clean snow out of your driveway, and even save your cat from a cistern. If you need help in any way, shape or form, they are there with bells on — or if it’s really serious, in a big red truck with sirens blaring. I shudder to think of where we would all be without them.
So this week, even if you can’t make it to their charity event, maybe just stop and say thanks when you see a member of the RCMP, ambulance staff or fire department. They work hard to see that we’re all safe, and we should show them our gratitude for doing what we’re not able or willing to do.